University of Chicago women's track and field athlete Nkemdilim Nwaokolo was the recipient of the 2014 Nike Prize, which was handed out on Sunday, Mar. 2 during the Jackie Robinson Foundation Mentoring and Leadership Conference.
The Nike Prize was created in 2008 and awards $5,000 to the Jackie Robinson Foundation (JRF) scholar-athlete "who exemplifies, through his or her actions, the ways in which commitment, advocacy, and innovation can unite and challenge a community to change," according to the JRF official press release.
Nwaokolo was sponsored for the award by the Tricoastal Foundation. Earlier that weekend, the sophomore thrower won a pair of titles in the shot put and weight throw at the University Athletic Association (UAA) Indoor Track & Field Championships. Nwaokolo is a biology major and in her spare time, she is involved with Jumpstart Corps, which works to improve language and literacy skills for preschool-age children.
The Jackie Robinson Foundation was established in 1973 and provides both financial assistance and leadership development programs. According to the press release, the JRF "equips its scholarship recipients with a comprehensive set of support services including internship placement, career guidance, and practical life skills, resulting in a nearly 100% graduation rate, more than twice the national average for minority students."